Tips to share

This is just something that i think many of us aware but I still want to share the experience and offer some tips. Last night was the 5th day that Nur Kasih has been coughing and her temperature was like up and down. Up meaning before giving her medicine and down of course after. But the point that i want to share was the experience prior to that and last night.

The first day when Nur Kasih came down with fever and coughing, my wife and I brought her to the nearest Klinik Kesihatan here in Kajang. Surprisingly after waiting just 15 minutes (since we came on Friday and it was half an hour to 12.00pm) we sat down with the doctor. He checked on her lungs making sure they were clear and then temperature and lastly her throat. So he diagnosed that she had a throat infection since he saw them quite reddish and proceeded to write her prescription (of course I am just telling it this way not to discredit the doctor but just trying to make the story simpler). Afterwards, we came to the pharmacy and got 4 medicines for her. First was as usual Paracetamol, second Actifed syrup, third Salbutamol syrup and lastly antibiotics Erythromycin. So after getting the instructions from the pharmacist, we went back.

Now what would any normal concerned parents would do with all these prescriptions? I don't know what would they do but what we did instinctively was to start her on Paracetamol of course to help lower her temperature. The rest we didn't gave her straight away since my wife wanted to breastfed her first. So about 2 and a half hours later (after I came back from Friday prayers, oh forgot to tell you it was on a Friday), we started her off on the third medicine and still not giving her the rest, now some of you may ask why, but this is what's great about my wife and I. We knew for a fact about Actifed that it could cause drowsiness since both her and I often came down with runny nose and sneezing and if we started to give her at that time then afterwards we would have to contend with her staying up at the whole night after dozing off the entire afternoon. The third medicine was the Salbutamol syrup and the pharmacist told us that it was for her coughing. So of course we gave her this. The last of course was her antibiotics. Both my wife and I had an experience with antibiotics when our first daughter Nurul Iman also came down with fever and coughing before. At that time the first doctor that we met prescribed her a with a type of antibiotics that i could not remember. Then i can't remember why but we thought off bringing her to see a paedietrician and at that time the doctor asked us to stop giving her the antibiotics since it was quite strong for her age. So this time for Nur Kasih both of us agreed that we would hold the antibiotics and see how she would develop. So it came down to last night, it was already 5 days and she was still coughing and fever was still there. The paracetamol was about to finish. The Salbutamol we gave her consistently but the actifed we gave her any other time. The antibiotics, we didn't gave her even until now.

Last night we decided to bring her to Kajang hospital for advice and also to ask for more paracetamol since we were almost out. After waiting i think it was just 10 minutes, we sat down with the doctor. So he asked what's wrong with her, standard procedure and etc..he checked her lungs, temperature and throat. So the same diagnosis as before that her throat was reddish. But it didn't just end there, we also brought the with us the actifed and salbutamol and wanted to show the to the doctor what we gave her these past few days. Imagine our surprise that he forbid us to continue with actifed and also told us that salbutamol was not suitable for her condition of coughing, it was more suitable if she had fluids on her lungs to help clear it. He even told us that actually for the actifed hospitals were not allowed to prescribe to infants since if not careful could lead to overdose. I then asked about the antibiotics that we were prescribed with and he said that it was more suitable to treat infections on her lung and not for her throat. He instead prescribed us with another antibiotics that is more suitable to treat her throat infection and also nasal drops to help clear her phlegm through her nose rather than using the salbutamol syrup.

So what I learn from this experience was what I seen the other day from the Oprah Winfrey show when she invited Dr. Oz. The episode of the show was about medical mistakes. I don't think mine was a medical mistake but what i could relate was Dr. Oz had commented that when we put a lot of trust into someone then the question of judgement is no longer there. He said that whether we like it or not we still have to question ourselves and also our doctor on their decision and diagnosis. We still have to take responsibility on our well being and not too place all our confidence into someone. I mean doctors are still human and not that they often make mistakes but even though with all these medical advancements that human factor is still there. I also know for a fact that doctors treat through symptoms and sometimes a diagnosis could change once they see another symptom (too much of House). He recommended that we could always refer to second opinion for a diagnosis.

So summing up I would say:-
1. Arm yourself with a little bit of knowledge especially on what medicines were provided to you
2. Ask your doctor more on what he/she checks on you. Don't just let him take your blood pressure and then let the doctor just go hmm.. I often ask him what's the reading.
3. Ask for a second opinion if you have some doubts. It does not hurt to ask. These days even going to 1Malaysia clinic just takes RM1.00 to pay. (not inclusive of fuel and toll)

P/S: About the actifed, I think we could still give to infants but we still have to be careful not to overdose. I tried asking a friend who's wife is a doctor and he told me that he will confirm later. So I'll just update this post later.

Related link: Dr. Oz's 8 Ways to Avoid Medical Mistakes

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